Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Death by Misadventure

The LSU football team lost a hard fought game against Alabama this weekend. That’s not my story. Sometime later, according to a radio report that I heard this morning, an LSU fan phoned an Alabama fan of his acquaintance and an argument ensued. Said LSU fan then drove over to the Alabama fan’s house, apparently taking his wife along, and a fist fight followed.

At some point, according to the radio, the LSU fan pulled a gun. But it so happened that the Alabama fan also had a weapon, a shotgun, which tends to trump other cartridge weapons at close range. The LSU fan and his wife are now dead. Radio announcer announced that “alcohol was apparently involved.”

My first thought was that the Darwin Awards had claimed two more. Stupidity will weed itself out (though I don’t see nature doing the job very quickly). My second thought was a touch of guilt at my first thought. Hello! Human beings dead here. Maybe I should have more compassion. Though I seem to be having a hard time working it up. What compassion I feel is for the poor families of those involved, not only for the dead ones but the relatives of the fan who did the killing. They must be going through hell because someone couldn’t hold their liquor. A sad day for them.

Come on people! Get a little perspective. It’s a football game for crying out loud. The sun will come up tomorrow for you.

If you let it.

And now for a song with some lyrics appropriate to that story, as well as to honor our vets on this day of remembrance. It's by Saxon and is called Broken Heroes.


Cath said...

Oh you are so right!
It is amazing how hot people get under the collar over a few men kicking or running with a ball from one end of a field to another.
Or over any other type of sport.

Well said!

Chris Benjamin said...


I myself had to cheer when I learned that Joerg Haider offed himself drunk driving. On less far-right racist and if he doesn't deserve a Darwin award for that then who does?

Lisa said...

That's too weird. And so is this: when I was 17 I went to a concert with friends at the Cape Cod Coliseum and Saxon was the opening band (I don't even remember who was the main attraction). We were all staying at a friend's house on the Cape, but by just before the end of the concert I'd gotten separated from everyone else and was wandering the parking lot, trying to find the car (hopeless) when a limo pulled up and asked me if I was lost. It was Saxon and like a true teenage dumbass, I said I was and accepted the ride they offered. I'm sure I made their night in Cape Cod a total bore when I realized I'd just gotten into a limo full of metal head rock star guys and declined their invitation to go back to their hotel, but they were polite and gave me a ride back to the place I was staying, along with an autographed photo I still have. Strange days.

virtualjourney said...

Sad. Happens too often now over here after inflated matches and the level of investment people make in games.

Sounds like there may have been something on the back boiler in the contact between these guys, though, so could the football may have been a catalyst?

SQT said...

I heard about this and it's the kind of thing that I just don't know what to say about it other than stupid stupid stupid.

I saw your last post about A.J. Jacobs' book-- I read that a few weeks ago and loved it. I thought he was so open minded and honest about the whole thing.

Anndi said...

Having spent some time in Alabama, I know they take their football seriously, but this? This is obscene...

Charles Gramlich said...

Crazycath, just amazing how silly it all is.

Benjibopper, I did not know about Haider but I'm not working up any sad because of it.

Lisa, ahh, a brush with fame. Not that Saxon is all that famous, of course. Great story.

Julie, there may have been. Seems likely they'd clashed before. The radio didn't have any info on that, though.

SQT, yes, I appreciate Jacobs taking a balanced approach. He definitely seems to be trying to befair minded.

Anndi, I'm not from Louisiana, though I live here now, but I tell you the LSU fans can be totally crazy. I just wouldn't even want to go to a game in person.

Miladysa said...

And it wasn't even proper football?


Miladysa said...

The song is a great way to mark this important day Charles :D

Shauna Roberts said...

It weirds me out what watching sports does to some people. Nothing like murdering a friend to ruin the rest of your life.

Cloudia said...

Football is ritualized warfare isn't it?
I second your opinion: very sad for the innocent by-standers.
Thanks, Charles for a thoughtful interlude (as usual).
Aloha from Waikiki-

Barbara Martin said...

Very sad day when emotions are allowed to overrule the head. This month seems to be filled with people dying in the news.

Travis Erwin said...

There's always someone out there with a bigger gun.

laughingwolf said...

agreed, charles... nuff said

Lana Gramlich said...

I've read an update that implies that it wasn't actually about the game, at all. There's a lot of weird relationship lines going amongst the people involved & the alleged LSU fan was a die hard Ohio fan. There's more to this story, it seems. Don't believe the attempted whitewashing just yet.

Lana Gramlich said...

Crap...my bad...Alabama, not Ohio!

Gary Dobbs/Jack Martin said...

saxon are brilliant - I love the wheels of steel album

Charles Gramlich said...

Miladysa, hum, good thing I'm not an LSU or Alabama fan considering that comment. ;)

Shauna Roberts, he's being charged with murder from what I understand. Bizarre.

Cloudia, yes, but it should be the players on the field who have to contend with potential injuries. It's just crazy.

barbara martin, maybe it's left over emotion from the crazy election stuff we just had.

Travis Erwin, so true.

Laughingwolf, yes indeed.

Lana, oh there often is but knowing LSU fans I wouldn't doubt it started that way.

Archavist, I bought all the Saxon albums for years, but haven't gotten anything in the last 10 years probably. I don't even know if they've put out any new albums, but I always liked their music.

Anonymous said...

I hadn't heard about this, what a sorry turn of events.

steve on the slow train said...

Football is a violent sport, but I suspect that this could have happened over baseball or cricket, or maybe even over symbolism in Moby Dick. More important was alcohol and the easy access to firearms. I'm not advocating Prohibition or a repeal of the Second Amendment (though the well-regulated militia clause needs to be emphasized), but drunks with guns are as scary as terrorists.

LoveRundle said...

Wow. That's all I can say. I wonder what they thought when they were sober.

Erik Donald France said...

Man, that's pretty nuts.

Never get outta the boat! or, as one wag I knew used to say, "Never get offa the couch!"

Merisi said...

Alcohol is one more reason "not to keep a gun in the house" (to steal a line from Billy Collins). Such a stupid horrendously asinine way to destroy two lives, and that of their families too!

I must confess that any death saddens me. I am not even sure I have done enough good to deserve to live, why then should I be the judge of who "deserves" to die? All I can do is carry another spider into safety.

BernardL said...

I remember one Darwin award, where a drunk ex chased a woman into her car with a shotgun. Finding the woman had locked him out, he proceeded to grab the barrel and smash into the car... only the shotgun had other ideas. :)

You're right, Charles, death by college football game is incomprehensible.

ivan said...

So many days would have come.
So many more games and getting drunk.

Randy Johnson said...

I like my sports teams like most folks. But I never got that OC crap. If one loses, for me, it's oh well, next time.
I have friends and family that are a little to obsessive for me. One has a room painted in the school colors. My barber has his shop decorated with paraphernalia and autographed pictures and is well known for his hate of the arch enemy university.I just shrug and move on. Ant paraphernalia I have(a couple of sweat shirts, an autographed photo of a coach, etc.) were given to me in the mistaken assumption it was something I might get for myself. I've NEVER bought any of that junk.
I just watch the games for the joy of the competition. I don't get over aroused win or lose.

Charles Gramlich said...

Jack, yes it is.

Steve, yep,people are just generally goofy and such fights could happen over anything.

Christina, probably big time regrets, but it's too late.

Erik, would that I didn't have to.

Merisi, I know, literally, thousands of people who have guns in their houses their entire lives and never used them inappropriately. These same people could have tried to run over each other in their cars. It's people who are the problem really. Or so it seems to me.

Bernardl, now that's justice.

Ivan, yep, just plain stupid.

Randy, I'm much the same. I have a Saints cap someone gave me. I enjoy watching football but I don't let it spill over into the rest of my life.

Heff said...

Of course being an Alabama resident, I heard all about this. The amazing part about it is - IT HAPPENS EVERY YEAR ! - Rednecks and their football- "It's not just a game, It's a way of life."


Michelle's Spell said...

This one really made me sad. Drinking good, guns fine, but drinking and guns and pure stupidity over a game?! Crazy! Here's hoping that people can get a little perspective.

L.A. Mitchell said...

Loved Lisa's story. That would be the complete gomer thing I would do.

Take the mighty club and the need to hunt away from some alpha males and they vet their testosterone in all the wrong places.

Aine said...

Darwin Awards! LOL

Yeah, I'm guilty of having such thoughts, too. As well as the follow-up guilt.

And I think you place your compassion well. I feel for those who have to live with the consequences.

Chris Eldin said...

I tend to feel the same motions, in the same order as you, when I hear stories like that.
It is sad for the families.

Charles Gramlich said...

Heff, agreed. Guess they didn't have enough to keep them busy.

Michelle, yep, I agree completely.

L. A. Mitchell, a bunch of foolishness for sure.

Aine, I wish more folks would think of their families before doing such stupid things.

Chriseldin, yes, I feel for them.

Miladysa said...

I took your advice and played around with that last post. Please let me know what you think :D

RichardS said...

Hi Charles

I saw Saxon live last night in Leicester in the UK. They were supporting Motorhead (What a bill!). They were as good as ever and yes they have a new album out early in the new year.

My ears are still ringing 24 hours later!


RichardS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sam said...

No, your first thought was right - Darwin strikes again. Except probably the wrong genes were eliminated.

Charles Gramlich said...

Miladysa, I'll do so.

Richards, oh wow, man. I'm jealous. I'm a Motorhead fan as well. I recently read Lemmy's autobiography, "White Line Fever," which was pretty good. I'm gonna have to check out Saxon's new releases.

Sam, that could well be.

Rick said...

Absolute insanity, Charles. In Detroit, we only come to mortal combat over critical things like hubcaps.

This kind of stuff is beyond anything but black humor.

Greg said...

that's tragic. seems things like that happen more and more these days....

Rachel V. Olivier said...

Criminy! Some people just don't pass out fast enough! Seriously. If they'd just passed out before this all happened, everyone would still be alive.

writtenwyrdd said...

It's some weird outgrowth of our times that we (meaning other people who care about sports, not me) get all worked up over the outcome of a freaking game. Noone's life is at stake, nobody's honor or glory is really involved. And yet people get drunk and shoot each other over it.

I too think Darwin Awards when I see such gross stupidity at work. It's difficult to think how sad somebody died when they did it to themselves. On an intellectual leve, I'm sorry they got stupid and essentially offed themselves when they should have known better. But no real emotion on my part, except I also feel for the familites who have suffered the loss.

That was apparently an awesome game, from what my Alabama-born co-worker tells me.

David Cranmer said...

I couldn't agree more with your sentiment... I love reading the Darwin awards and pray to God I'm never a member of the honor roll.

JR's Thumbprints said...

My classes have many recipients of the Darwin Awards. I guess there isn't much sympathy from me, afterall, my Detroit Lions haven't won a game all season.

Susan Miller said...

I'm with you on this. My initial thought tends to gravitate toward your initial thought, and then, like you, I feel guilty for not being more sympathetic toward the loss of human life and the pain for others.

What do we deem important, and not just important....but what is worthy of our lives?

Several years ago I was talking to a FBI agent who had worked the New Orleans area for several years, and he was telling me about a case he had investigated where a woman was being mugged and fought to save her purse. She was shot and killed. So I told him that I did understand the fight to save the purse most likely cause I would be so mad that someone felt like they could come and just take something from me. Like I can see fighting for some type of principle. He simply looked at me, shook his head and responded, "But is the purse worth your life?"

Of course, the answer is no, and I'm glad he told me that story cause I most likely wouldn't fight now, just friggin' hand it over cause the principle is not even worth it anymore.

Ummmmmm....I sorta strayed from your initial post, didn't I? I mean, football, puhleeeze....although I did watch the game and it was killer. Oops, bad choice of words.

Charles Gramlich said...

Rick, well hubcaps I could understand, man. The necessities of life. ;)

Greg, the only word to describe it is "lame."

Rachel, indeed. Maybe they should put knockoutdrops in with the alcohol.

Writtenwyrd, it was truly a good game. I didn't get to see the whole thing but what I saw was terrific. Not worth dying over, though.

David Cranmer, yes, I've worried a time or two that I might end up on there. So far so good.

JR, so is that different from any other season for the lions? sorry, couldn't resist.

Susan Miller, I think sometimes it's just instinctive to fight. Someone tries to snatch a woman's purse and she puts up a struggle just automatically. But it's a good thing for people to try to think ahead and plan for such events should they happen.

Virginia Lady said...

That sucks, but I must admit, the same thought goes through my head. It's a shame that some people get so worked up, drink to excess, and can't control themselves. It's the ones left behind who suffer the most.

Charles Gramlich said...

Virginia lady, absolutely right.

RichardS said...


Didn't realise Lemmy had written an autobiography. That's a must have! It's now on the Christmas list.



Steve Malley said...

Key factor:

Stupidity only weeds itself out *IF* the stupid die BEFORE they breed.

Sadly, a certain amount of mental modeling of the future is required to properly use birth control.

Charles Gramlich said...

Richards, I recommend it for sure.

Steve Malley, ah yes, the dreaded post-breeding problem of evolution. We need to do something about that.

j said...

Oh no! I am one of those obsessive Tide fans. I am safe from taking things too far in the name of my team because I don't drink. But I do think that I have annoyed people in my enthusiasm for the Crimson Tide that they may have wanted to strangle me.

This story - this is the stuff that novels are made of... over indulgence, passion, loss of self control, regret. It is the pettiness of being over football that makes it sad/ridiculous.

I agree, compassion and prayers for the living that have to cope with the foolishness and loss.

Charles Gramlich said...

Jennifer, I'm passionate over the Arkansas Razorbacks. That's my team. Pretty much the same color scheme as the Crimson Tide.